The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has been swift to comment on the historic fall in the pay gap between men and women announced in today's Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings from the Office for National Statistics.
Said Charles Cotton, CIPD adviser on Performance and Reward, "We should treat the findings with an element of caution. The smaller gap is a reflection of the state of the economy between April 2008 and April 2009, when many men were impacted by pay freezes and cuts. Between these dates, by contrast, women saw their pay rise relatively faster, as they are more likely to be covered by public-sector deals or increases linked to the national minimum wage. The fear is that this gap could widen as the private sector starts to power ahead in 2011.
"That is not to say that employers are absolved from trying to reduce the pay gap. When significant amounts of investor or taxpayer money is being spent on salary and wages, it's important to ensure that pay reflects employee performance, behaviours and skills, rather than prejudice and bias."
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